Seven people robbed a van of at least $840,000 in Sulaimani on March 12, stealing the salaries of the city’s health employees.
After 24 hours, the group who had carjacked the vehicle on a busy street in Sulaimani was apprehended and the money was returned. At the time, authorities said Shaho Mahmood, 34, the head of the group lives near the Shar Hospital and an employee of the hospital which was supposed to receive the money might have an indirect connection with the incident.
Mahmood, appearing in orange jumpsuit while blindfolded in footage released by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) Gali Kurdistan TV, confessed that he led the group to rob the Shar Hospital's salaries.Confessions to crimes, across the Middle East, are used as indisputable proof of one’s guilt in a crime.
Some are often forced or coerced.
He recounted once he knew his friends were arrested, he fled to Kirkuk, but finally "ended up arrested" by Sulaimani security forces in Qadir Karam, near Chamchamal — a town between Sulaimani and Kirkuk.
According to the security agency’s statement, Mahmood previously had been jailed for life on a murder conviction."This criminal previously was in prison for life on murder charges per Article 406 from the criminal court.
But later he was released due to reconciliation between [the family of the murderer and the family of the murdered] — without a court [order] — and was issued an amnesty," read the Sulaimani Asayesh statement.For the first time in years, civil servants across the Kurdistan Region received their salaries in full last month, a week after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) issued an end to the unpopular salary saving system. The saving system was introduced in 2016 because the Kurdistan Region was suffering financial woes due to multiple crises including budget cuts from Baghdad, the Islamic State (ISIS) conflict and the massive drop in in oil prices.